Chloe Matthews
Chloe Matthews
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

No feedback on a job application?

Let’s face it. The process of securing a new job can be pretty stressful. In fact it is often listed in the top 10 most stressful events you will experience during your life. So the last thing you need when you do embark on the search for a new job – either through choice or necessity is for additional and sometimes unnecessary frustrations to crop up.

One such frustration can be lack of feedback when you make a job application. Let’s look at this more closely. By the time an individual applies for a job they have probably already invested at least 3 hours (if not more of their time) in the process; reading job adverts, researching the company, obtaining a job description, speaking to a recruiter or internal HR advisor, amending and tailoring their CV, drafting a cover letter or filling in an application, completing online tests.

Our time is precious. So when we go through the process outlined above, it is perfectly acceptable to expect that in return we will receive some feedback on our application and at the very least to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the application. So why is that so often this doesn’t happen? We speak to candidates on a daily basis who have made direct job applications or used another recruitment agency and not even received an acknowledgement of their application, let alone any feedback as to why they did not get invited to interview. This does not create a good impression of the company/organisation concerned and leads to a bad candidate experience.

So is it all the company’s fault? Are they solely to blame? Should they have better processes in place? Clearly recruitment and investment in the right people is a key part in the success of any business or organisation. Ensuring that when people apply for a job, they receive a good experience, whether they are suitable for the role or not, is essential in order for a company or organisation to maintain a good reputation and continue to attract the right candidates.

However it is not quite so simple. Recruitment is a huge and costly expense to any business and it is also complex and time consuming. Technology has allowed companies to speed up the process and take away some of the man hours but you still need human investment – CVs have to be reviewed by the right people to decide on suitability and quite often the right people are the senior staff/management team who have competing requirements on their time. It becomes something of a chicken and egg situation – companies are so busy they need to recruit more staff but are also so busy they do not have time to review CVs, conduct interviews and provide feedback!

There is also an element of candidates taken some responsibility for their part in the process. You would not believe the number of job applications I receive on a daily basis from candidates who are entirely unsuitable for the job they have applied for. This is sadly a waste of their time and ours. If a job description, for example, states a requirement for a qualified solicitor with 5 years experience in a specific area of law, it is unlikely they will consider someone who has just qualified and has no experience in that area.

So what role do we play in this process? At BCL we understand that good candidate experience is hugely important and we work closely with both candidates and clients to ensure this happens as much as possible. We also recognise that this is still an area that can improve further and part of our job is to educate our clients on the need for good candidate experience and to help them understand the bigger picture and implications of candidates getting a bad experience.

This means that we set high standards for ourselves. We do not advertise roles or speak to candidates about that role until we have spoken with our client and found out not only what CVs and experience will be of interest but also the timeframes for applications, interview requests and feedback.

This means that when we forward your CV, you know that the role is active, that your experience is likely to be of interest and that we will manage the process entirely for you and keep you up to date on time frames. In short we aim to make the process as stress free as possible. We always ask for feedback on interviews and if a CV is rejected prior to interview we try to find out why so that we can ensure we let the candidate know. We strive to give both candidates and clients the best experience we can and feel that this commitment to working roles in an informed and consultative manner sets us apart from other legal recruitment agencies.

I specialise in placing candidates into the top firms in Birmingham so if you are considering a move and want to take away the stress then please call me on 0121 237 5611 or email me at chloejones@bcllegal.com.

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